All posts in Local Delights

Recycling Rookies

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In plotting our storage and organization plans, we realized that we had a lot of extra stuff we’ve been hanging onto.  Most of which came with the house.  For obvious reasons, there are a lot of hazardous materials that you’re not supposed to just toss in your weekly trash, which complicates the effort quite a bit.  But lucky for us, we learned that our county has a few recycling and drop-off centers where you can recycle some materials and safely dispose of others.  We hit the jackpot when we learned that we could unload much of our junk for free.  Music to my ears.  Because nobody likes to pay to get rid of something.

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Pottery Barn Decorating Class

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Looking for a great (and free) way to get a few extra design tips?  I always am as I’m still learning how to style our house to match our personalities and still trying become a wonderful hostess like my mother.  I’m not hosting the holidays this year, but that didn’t stop me from attending Pottery Barn’s How to Entertain with Style class with my mom yesterday.  It was a fun weekend activity, and it gave my mom (who does host large Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter gatherings) and myself some new ideas for entertaining on Thanksgiving.

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Autumn Activity: Brewery Tours

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Looking for a fun activity this fall?  One of our favorites is brewery tours.  Most of all because Dain is obsessed with beer, but even if you’re not that into brews, it’s still fascinating to see how it’s made.  Luckily, the Midwest is teaming with breweries where you can learn all about the brewing and bottling process and taste a few finished products while you’re at it.  Here’s a look at a few of our regional favorites.

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A Night on the Town

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It’s not too often that we have a date just the two of us that is anything fancier than hitting one of our two favorite St. Louis Park spots, McCoys or Bunny’s….because we can walk, among other reasons (free late night taco bar anyone?).  And it’s also not too often that we choose to go out downtown.  After having both worked in downtown Minneapolis for years now, it has definitely lost its appeal.  So whenever anyone suggests it, we try to steer the plans to another neighborhood…one that has free parking preferably. But we made an exception to this general rule one night this summer to see a concert at Orchestra Hall and try out Masa on Nicollet Mall before hand.

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Goldrushing It

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We thought we’d let you in on a little Southeastern Minnesota secret in case you don’t already know: Goldrush.  Not of the actually mining gold variety.  More like the antique mining variety.  Goldrush is one of the largest antique shows in the Midwest that occurs every year on the third weekend in August.  It’s been going strong since 1972, and it draws in hoards of treasure seekers looking for that perfect old find.  You missed it this year, but there’s always next year.  We made it there over the weekend and while we did not bring home any treasures, we had a lot of fun looking. Continue reading →

Room and Board…..Outlet

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That’s right.  In case you didn’t know.  Room and Board, the high-end, trendy, and incredible furniture manufacturer is not only straight up Minnesotan, but it has an outlet store. A few miles from our house. I die.  While I dream of the day that we can waltz into the regular store and buy something retail, I would probably kill someone who spilled a drop of wine on a sofa that cost me $4,798.00 (like this one).  So to avoid all of that, we stalk the outlet store.  And it finally paid off with the deal of a lifetime.  Does it exactly match anything we own? No.  Is it it the right proportions for our petite house?  No.  Was it amazingly luscious and $880 off the original price?  Yes and yes.  We pounced.

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Galaxy Drive-In…An Intergalactic Treat

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If you are looking for kitsch, look no further than the Galaxy Drive-In in the one and only St. Louis Park, Minnesota.  The SLP has a lot of gems but none quite as hokey as this restaurant that you can’t help but notice on Highway 7.  And hokey is truly an affectionate term for us.  We love ourselves a theme restaurant, and this drive-in does not disappoint in that department with its self-described intergalactic and retrofuturistic dining experience.  Here’s what you are missing if you have yet to dine at this out-of-this galaxy joint.

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Mill Valley Kitchen

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It’s certainly not every day that a new restaurant opens in our neighborhood so let’s just say we were filled with excitement and anticipation when we learned that a new apartment complex and business development near us (at Excelsior Blvd and France Ave) was going to be the home of the Mill Valley Kitchen.  Advertised as Northern California inspired cuisine served in a comfortable and refined setting, we counted down the days along with the countdown posted outside the restaurant.  So needless to say, when it finally opened a few weeks ago, we were itching to go.

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Rediscovering the Library

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I’ve obviously known about the library for a long time.  My mom used to take me to the Rochester Public Library when I was kid, and we would go to the little library at our elementary school beginning in kindergarten.  But it really wasn’t until this past year that I rediscovered how incredible the library truly is and how lucky we are in Minnesota to have a large, sophisticated public library system.  Everyone is so caught up these days with their iPads and Kindles and Netflix subscriptions that we seem to have forgotten what a true treasure the library is.  And it is completely free, which is a rarity in this world.

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Technique at Le Cordon Bleu

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We are always looking for a great value, and thanks to my younger brother, we found it at Le Cordon Bleu’s Technique restaurant.  Located in Mendota Heights, MN, Technique is open to the public and offers lunch and dinner menus prepared by chefs in training every Tuesday through Friday.  For just $10, you can enjoy a three course lunch menu, and for $15 you can sample a five course dinner menu. And Le Cordon Bleu offers the same experience at their schools throughout the country if you aren’t in Minnesota.

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